Risk
12/30/2010
11:36 AM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Meet The "SMS of Death"

If a pair of German security researchers are correct, a successful SMS attack could cripple vast segments of mobile networks.

If a pair of German security researchers are correct, a successful SMS attack could cripple vast segments of mobile networks.The research, presented by Collin Mulliner and Nico Golde at the Chaos Computer Club Congress in Berlin. As reported by the site Switched:

The pair reportedly discovered it after setting up their own private GSM network, which allowed them to send malicious text messages to a variety of basic cell phones. The most serious vulnerability, the so-called 'SMS of Death,' affected several popular models from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG and Motorola. The impact, however, varied from brand to brand.

In some cases, the malicious texts caused the phones to shut down, and disconnect from their networks. In the worst case, the payload-equipped SMS could force the phone to shut down and disconnect, without even registering the original message. Under these circumstances, the hacker could even force the network to send the message again, once the system re-boots, thereby trapping the phone in a vicious shutdown cycle. Mulliner and Golde emphasized that these vulnerabilities likely exist in many other mobile models, but that their work has been focused exclusively on the most popular.

That's a nasty attack by itself, and could be even worse if such a denial-of-service attack were launched simultaneously with some other event or attack.

It's been a nasty week for mobile phone security, and many predict 2011 will prove to be an ugly year for keeping smartphones and mobile gadgets secure.

Earlier today Alison Diana reported on a new Trojan that is targeting Android phones. The Trojan, dubbed Geinimi, has both botnet characteristics and can lift a significant amount of data from the device. Diana's story is worth a read.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, find me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-6090
Published: 2015-04-27
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in the (1) DataMappingEditorCommands, (2) DatastoreEditorCommands, and (3) IEGEditorCommands servlets in IBM Curam Social Program Management (SPM) 5.2 SP6 before EP6, 6.0 SP2 before EP26, 6.0.3 before 6.0.3.0 iFix8, 6.0.4 before 6.0.4.5 iFix...

CVE-2014-6092
Published: 2015-04-27
IBM Curam Social Program Management (SPM) 5.2 before SP6 EP6, 6.0 SP2 before EP26, 6.0.4 before 6.0.4.6, and 6.0.5 before 6.0.5.6 requires failed-login handling for web-service accounts to have the same lockout policy as for standard user accounts, which makes it easier for remote attackers to cause...

CVE-2015-0113
Published: 2015-04-27
The Jazz help system in IBM Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management 4.0 through 5.0.2, Rational Quality Manager 4.0 through 4.0.7 and 5.0 through 5.0.2, Rational Team Concert 4.0 through 4.0.7 and 5.0 through 5.0.2, Rational Requirements Composer 4.0 through 4.0.7, Rational DOORS Next Generation...

CVE-2015-0174
Published: 2015-04-27
The SNMP implementation in IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) 8.5 before 8.5.5.5 does not properly handle configuration data, which allows remote authenticated users to obtain sensitive information via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-0175
Published: 2015-04-27
IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) 8.5 Liberty Profile before 8.5.5.5 does not properly implement authData elements, which allows remote authenticated users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join security and risk expert John Pironti and Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a live online discussion of the sea-changing shift in security strategy and the many ways it is affecting IT and business.